Rachel Paige
September 16, 2015 10:50 am

Anyone who’s ever been to a fan convention before knows that things can get costly. Not only do you have to buy admission to the event, but also transportation arrangements, merchandise and swag. Now factor in the photo opportunity you came for: a snapshot with one of your movie idols. You can’t pass that up, unless you can’t afford it.

One dad recently realized how how expensive those meet-and-greets really are when he took his kids to meet the great Ron Weasley aka Rupert Grint at Fan Expo Canada.

“I was shockingly naive about how this process works,” writes Jonathan Kay in an essay for The Walrus. “Before Sunday’s celebrity adventure, I’d assumed that one could mingle about and snap pictures with fan-con celebs for free, taking out your wallet only when you wanted a signed photo.”

As Kay soon learned, a 5-second meet, greet and photo op with Grint cost a hefty $142 dollars.

Now, this reflects little on Grint himself and we still think he’s a lovely lad who probably didn’t demand so many Galleons himself, but fan expos are a business—and more of a business than we realized.

Granted a picture with Ron Weasley is nothing to sneeze at. In the age of social media, a “Grint and me” selfie will set your Instagram and Facebook on fire—and make you feel pretty cool about your profile status. But the whole money exchange does take some of the air out of the tires.

And it’s probably not awesome for our beloved HP actors either. At Fan Expo Canada, Kay photographed a roster with prices next to each celebrity’s name—the whole thing was kind of demeaning for such reputable actors. Ron Weasley was listed at $142. Tom Felton aka Draco Malfoy, at $80. And a photograph with Grint, Felton and the Phelps twins (“Harry Potter Quad”) was listed at $328.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a princess or a space warrior or a talking pony: You have a price on your forehead, and what that price measures is fame,” Kay writes. “. . . if you can’t escape it at Fan Expo, a supposed celebration of subcultures, what hope do the world’s geeks really have?”

(Image via Warner Bros)

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